Submitting Our Last Scholarship Applications for Studying in Ireland

Dear Friends, 
This weekend was a lot of fun because Jazmin and I got to host our friend Leah in Lugo! To get to it though, both Jazmin and I had to get past a major hurdle the day before she came: the application for a study abroad scholarship with GoOverseas. 

The three of us walking the wall of Lugo.

We had both sunk about a month of work into drafting these perfect statements of under 300 words of about 1-4 paragraphs and taking the ideal picture to pair with it, both parts vital to the submission. 

“We speak”

Jazmin submitted her application and everything went off without a hitch. Then, it got to my turn. I copied and pasted the statement I had revised and edited right up until the last hour. I uploaded the picture I had perfected over a year ago in our own hometown pub, the Irish Rover. 

Does this not say “I need to study in Ireland” enough?

Then something awful happened: my application didn’t go through. It was rejected for having only 294 words. I reread the submission requirements, the same requirements Jazmin and I had poured over before. The same requirements we had both, apparently, misread. A minimum of 300 words. In the world of grad school apps she and I have lived in, most responses were to be as tacitern as possible; most word counts were maximums, not minimums. 

I was six words short of the requirement, but I could have gone on more. I could have had more room for detail. I could have explained myself even better, perhaps… 

But there was no more time. I quickly added a sentence that brought my word count to 302 and submitted, feeling like my time at University College Dublin just became more expensive. I felt in the moments after like I had just kissed €12,000+ good-bye.

It’s not the only scholarship that we know about, but it is the last that I know of for me. This is also the last which would pay for our entire education in Ireland. It’s hard to know that I submitted something which was my best effort, and a solid statement in general, but that might not go through because I didn’t use a higher word count. While I no longer feel exactly like I wasted a months work, I do feel that my chances are probably not as good as others. 

Jazmin still has shots at a few more scholarships for Trinity College Dublin and we have already been awarded a few scholarships, but we are still trying to alleviate our debt as much as possible. We’re still looking for as many other financial options as possible before we get there.

To say the least, it was great to then get to spend the weekend either writing or hanging out with Leah. 

Not to mention she got us these adorable little tartas De Santiago!

All prayers, well wishes, and happy thoughts are welcome as we look to our future. Thanks for all of your love and support! 

Best wishes, 

Blake

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